A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology

by Melvin H. Schuetz


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Chesley Bonestell has been called the "Father of Space Art." His photorealistic paintings of the Moon and planets, and other worlds beyond, have awed us since they were first published, over half a century ago. Moreover, he showed, long before Gagarin or Glenn, what it would be like for humans to explore the vastness of space.

As author Howard E. McCurdy has written in his book, Space and the American Imagination: "No artist had more impact on the emerging popular culture of space in America than Chesley Bonestell. . . . Through his visual images, he stimulated the interest of a generation of Americans and showed how space travel would be accomplished."

Considering his great influence on both the public interest in space flight and the actual development of a national space program, it is therefore both surprising and unfortunate that, heretofore, there has not been available a bibliography documenting those places where Bonestell's art appeared in print. This book fills that void.

Written in cooperation with the artist's widow and his estate managers, A Chesley Bonestell Space Art Chronology contains well over 700 entries and is the definitive reference guide to publications containing Bonestell's space art. In praise of it, the illustrator Vincent Di Fate says: "This entertaining and scholarly work is an invaluable and indispensable treasure for the vast legions of Bonestell's fans. [T]houghtful, engrossing and utterly thorough . . . [it] provides the cosmic ride of a lifetime."

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About the Author

A former satellite controller in the USAF and private industry, Melvin H. Schuetz has been on the staff of the Baylor University Libraries since 1994. He has researched and collected publications containing Bonestell space art for over three decades. His personal collection of printed Bonestelliana (The Chesley Bonestell Archives) is believed to be the largest in existence.

Mr. Schuetz's previous contribution to the literature of space flight was as Technical Editor of the book, Soviet Space, issued by the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History Association in 1991. He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the Air Force Space Operations Association.

He lives in Waco, Texas, with his wife, Carol.


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